(Bloglikeanegyptian redirected me to you-just curious) Salaam, so I've been reading about Egypt's history lately and I've been wondering whether Turks & Albanians who came to Egypt during Muhammad Ali's era still identify themselves as Turkish/Albanian or did they completely accept the Egyptian culture?
Wa alykum as-salaam,
I don’t know about Egyptians with Turkish backgrounds, it seems (and I may be wrong) that many times they have become more Egyptian and assimilated and their ancestry is not something that impacts them as much, but again, this is just my sense, and I may be wrong.
Egyptians who are of Albanian origin are far more aware of their background. This is mostly due to the rise of Muhammad Ali Basha, an ethnic Albanian, who relied on Albanians for loyalty to insulate himself from Ottoman (i.e. Turkish and Egyptian) nobles.
My mother does not speak Albanian fluently, though my grandparents (Allah yerhamhom) both spoke Albanian fluently. We grew up using Albanian words as if they were Arabic, like, we said “shindet” for bless you and said “niten namire” (spelling?) for good night, and my grandmother (Allah yerhamha) would call me “shpirti” (spelling?) for “habibi” and so we never really let go of that Albanianness.
Egyptians in Albania, as well as Saudi (there are lots) have not lost their roots, my cousins go back to Albania, and when Albania opened up, the top three countries to put money into Albania were Turkey (lots of Albanians there), Saudi, and Egypt.
When the war in Kosovo happened, lots of Egyptian and Saudi Albanians put their money behind the Kosovars.
What seems like a “conflict” of identities did not exist in Egypt, Egyptians could be of Italian, Kurdish (Soad Hosny was Kurdish!), Chechen, or Sudanese (there are many others) backgrounds and still be part-and-parcel to Egypt’s society. I think the big change happened during the time of Nasser, where there was a sharp increase in Arab nationalism.
This is why my mother does not speak Albanian, there was a fear among Albanians (and other ethnic minorities) that to hang on to anything other than our Arabic language would put us in trouble. My mother’s family were kicked out of Egypt, as were many other Egyptians who did not fit into the “Arab” mold. But I have family members, who are Albanian, who escaped these purges, so how they determined who were acceptable (i.e. Arab enough) or not is something I don’t know.
We are very aware and proud of our Albanian heritage, I mean, it was Albanian slave-soldiers who made up the ranks of the Mamluks, we defeated the Mongols, we were the backbone of the Ottoman Empire as Janissaries and as viziers (see Koprulu family), and we are the founders of modern Egypt (Muhammad Ali Basha). Albanian identity is very strong, but I think the Albanians in Egypt (as opposed to Albanians in Macedonia, Saudi, or other areas) did not see themselves as distinct to their country of immigration.
My mother married a pure Egyptian, my aunt married a Nubian, among others, and so the Albanian identity was more of use for the service of the King, because we could safeguard the him and his interests, but if you asked my grandparents what they were, they’d say they were Egyptian. The Albanian identity was known and understood through the prism of Egypt, and Egypt is where my mother calls home, it is where our family has found our home for a thousand years, and so, if you were to try to tell my mother that she’s Albanian, she’d say yes, but to try and take away her Egyptian identity, she’d kill you.
It’s complicated for many people, but not for us. We are Egyptian, 100%, through-and-through, but we recognize the Albanian in us, but, if that is to discount or “diminish” our Egyptian identity, I find that to be grossly offensive, honestly.
Egypt is our home, no matter what, we fought, we bled, we died for Egypt and I’ll be damned if I let anyone try and take that away from us.
serbs once again show their true face even if they’re federation says albanian players will be safe,they let serbian hooligans on the field to attack albanian players this is so embarrasing,but they forgot one thing we are albanians and we dont give a fu*k because history let us know how wicked you are, and no one knows fear from you little hienas,so proud for albanian players who protect their honor and fight for their national flag.SO PORUD TO BE ALBANIAN
Also seven things you need to know about the serbia -ALBANIA match violence in belgrade:Much of the international media coverage of the violence in the Partizan Belgrade stadium has focused on the stunt of a drone flying an Albanian banner, the ensuing brawl and pitch invasion by angry Serb fans. There were additional elements to the violence that are either not being reported by international media, look photos,ALBANIAN players white jerseys
1. Albanian fans were not allowed to attend the match. Serb authorities said they would arrest anyone who showed any symbol of the visiting team in the stadium — restrictions that are almost unheard of in international football. A few Albanian supporters were able to get in, but the crowd was more than 99 percent Serb.
2. The Serb crowd chanted “Ubij, Ubij Siptar” – “Kill, Kill the Albanians,” throughout the 40 minutes the game was played. They used the Milosevic-era derogatory term for Albanian, which is akin to the n-word in North America.
3. The stadium was filled with Serb nationalistic political banners, like “Kosovo is Serbia” and other slogans relating to Bosnia and Croatia. The Serb fans loudly booed the Albanian national anthem. 4. Hard objects and fireworks were thrown on Albanian players well before the drone started flying. The few Albanian journalists who had dared to go to Belgrade also reported that they were pelted with hard objects throughout the first half.
5. Ivan Bogdanovic, the Serb hooligan who led the 2010 Italy match riot, was seen invading the pitch. He served jail time in Serbia after the Italy incident, in which he burned an Albanian flag. That game had to be abandoned as well. Yesterday he led a group of masked supporters into the pitch before being kicked out by police.
6. More than half of Albania’s national team has roots in Kosovo, which split from Serbia in the late 90s in a violent conflict in which about 10,000 ethnic Albanians were killed or went missing and more than 800,000 were displaced. In addition, more than 2,000 ethnic Serbs were also killed or went missing in the war, which ended through a NATO intervention 15 years go. The alliance’s flag was also burned in Belgrade last night. (Albania has been a NATO member since 2009. Serbia is officially EU-minded, but also Russia-friendly.)
7. Despite the harsh political atmosphere in the stadium, the Albanian national team went to play football, and it managed to overcome a shaky first few minutes, moving to gain the upper hand in the field when the interruption happened.